On a lone weekend day an early A.M. phone call was received that announced the death of a soldier. This particular soldier is not well known and the death followed an all too familiar lament – died in the line of duty.
This soldier’s obituary will rest on an obscure page of the history book of this community because the death of this soldier does not rise to the level of a banner front page epitaph. No, this soldier labored in obscurity and is only known by a few good men and women.
I knew this soldiers greatest joy in life was the volunteer work done with very young children, one day each week in a small classroom at 2028 S. Main St, Crossville, Tennessee.
This volunteer took time off during the week to read and prepare a lesson plan for the children, bought some cookies and juice and some reward trinkets, packaged it all together in preparation to take it to the classroom each and every week.
This soldier was not an eloquent, well spoken commanding officer, nor was this soldier affluent. Like the soldiers sacrifice, this volunteer sacrificed in order to pursue the joy of positively affecting the lives of eight to ten children, one day a week.
The return of this soldier’s labor of love was giving these children the ground work to be good sons and daughters, to lay the foundation for potential respectful primary school students that are eager to learn, and having a hand in helping to set the moral compass of a future young man or woman.
This soldier was not a soldier in any U.S. military unit, this soldier was a volunteer soldier of the cross, yes, she was a Sunday school teacher.
To Private Marie Hites, a first class soldier for the cross of Jesus Christ, you are a heroine that will be missed by family and friends.
With much admiration and respect,
Printed in the Crossville Chronicle – Letters to the Editor – page 4A, Friday, January 16, 2009
Used here by permission of the author – Robert Kisling (October 2011)